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Study: 33% of small business owners lack the motivation they had when business was new

Written on Mar 5, 2019

A new study from Vistaprint has revealed 33% of U.S. small business owners say they don’t have the same motivation as in those early days of their entrepreneurial journey.

In the study, more than one-third or 36% said they experience this lack of motivation several times a year. The reason, of course, will vary from owner to owner, but Vistaprint says they can get their mojo back and get excited about what led them on this path in the first place.

For small business owners, the high level of stress which goes along with running a company is one of the biggest reasons for losing their enthusiasm. In the study, stress is identified as one of the primary contributors for losing one’s motivation.

The study comes from a February 2019 survey of 365 small businesses owners with 0 to 10 employees.

The survey was also administered in Canada with 371 respondents, and the UK with 294 respondents.

In the US, the top reasons for losing motivation was high levels of stress at number one, followed by lack of regular/stable salary and lack of work-life balance.

The respondents in the UK gave a lack of regular/stable salary as their number one cause followed by stress, and lower than expected potential. In Canada the lack of regular/stable salary was on top, followed by stress and lack of work-life balance.

The fact all three countries identify high levels of stress as the top two reason highlights the role stress plays in one’s motivation to continue to do what they are doing.

As to how they were able to identify their lack or loss of motivation, respondents in the U.S. gave procrastinating on necessary business projects as their primary reason. The other reasons were not posting on social media and not updating the website as often.

Running a small business means staying on top of tasks and any procrastination will eventually be responsible for the downfall of the company. With more small business now online with e-commerce, not updating a website or posting on social media is also a recipe for failure.

Respondents in Canada and the UK also said procrastination was their top reason for identifying their lack of motivation.

Participants in all three countries were asked how they keep their passion for their business alive over the years and if they could offer some tips for small business owners.

The first tip is a great one. They said, “Remind yourself why you started your business in the first place.” You might think you will never forget why you started your business, but as the survey points out high-level stress and other issues can make you forget.

Some of the other tips are: seek new challenges and set new goals, refresh your brand, create partnerships with other businesses/brands and hit the “reset” button by taking time away from your business.

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